In a small town at the foot of the northern highlands in Albania, a decade after the fall of the Communist regime, the harsh blood-for-blood law of the fearsome Kanun mountain folk is emerging from hibernation, like everything else that was forbidden under the fifty years of Communist rule. Mysterious happenings that are two thousand years old, two centuries old, or even just two years old reemerge in daily life. The marriage of a girl and a snake is not just a legend but a news itema cyclical event that is as much part of the modern world as of the ancient one. Set against this Kafkaesque backdrop, a simple and sensual love story between a painter and a young woman stands out as light against dark. With its rich and somber story of local traditions and universal themes, Spring Flowers, Spring Frost is a masterpiece belonging to Kadare’s purest classical vein.